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Ben Messerschmidt, Epic Forensics & EngineeringMar 1, 20232 min read

Tips for a Successful Condominium or Homeowner’s Association Turnover

While Developers are required by Florida Statute 718 and 720 to provide the following to the Association at turnover:

  • Record Set for all design disciplines (architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, fire sprinkler, site civil, pool, irrigation, and landscaping)
  • Recorded Declaration with the bylaws.
  • List of names and addresses, of which the developer had knowledge at any time in the development of the Condominium Association, of all contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers utilized in the construction of the Property.
  • Project specifications
  • List of written warranties of the contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers still effective.
  • Copies of any certificates of occupancy that may have been issued for the Property.

Several things that can be done by the Association prior to and immediately after turnover for the benefit of the community. This information will benefit not only any forensic engineering firm in performing a Property Condition Assessment Report, but the community operations as a whole.

  1. List of Known Issues: Utilize the community management staff as well as any recent property complaints to fill out a list. This can include items such as several past failed repairs of a singular item like a large pump, cooling tower, or generator. Water intrusion or flooding events from within units and also from exterior to units are extremely valuable to track. Photographs, videos, and handwritten notes are invaluable.
    This list can also be provided to the Developer prior to turnover in hopes of them correcting them. If that is the case, it is still important to retain copies of the repair procedure with photographs for the Association’s records. If repairs don’t occur, it is still valuable that now the Developer is aware of the conditions from a historical aspect.

  2. Repair Invoices: Going hand in hand with the above, repair invoices for items that may appear to be in excess of typical maintenance should be retained, organized, and eventually provided to the forensic engineering firm after turnover. Think of this as the community’s medical history record. If a large-scale component has failed and needs to be replaced, see if that failed item can be stored by the Association for potential future engineering analysis, if necessary.

  3. Record Set of Digital Construction Plans: There are multiple different plan sets during any development, starting from a bid set. Each set will get more and more accurate, until the record set, which is stored on record with the Municipality upon project completion. The record set is intended to truly reflect the in-field, built condition. If an Association is only operating with a construction set, there is no guarantee that, for example, certain shut-off valves or electrical panels will be in the depicted locations, which can add to a headache in an emergency. It is strongly recommended to have the digital version of the record plan set, ideally cloud-based, so it can be effectively accessed by the management team and supporting vendors whenever needed.

Finally, some recommended wish list items that can be requested from the Developer, while they may not always provide them:

  • Post Tensioning Shop Drawings
  • Glazing Shop Drawings
  • Railings Shop Drawings
  • Pool Shop Drawings

A Community Association turnover is certainly an event that should be planned out on either side (Developer and Association) such that effective documentation and tangible property transfer can take place. As a final reminder, reliance upon the Association’s Counsel and management company during this period is imperative to its immediate and future success.